Should “The X Factor” Bring Back Britney Spears?

I’m a fan of “The X Factor.” I’m not sure why, but probably because I end up being a fan of most music shows, and fine, I’m a fan of Simon Cowell.  Oddly “The X Factor” hasn’t been able to catch hold here in the States, being topped by “The Voice” it seems this fall, and lots of people will blame the mentors, with Britney Spears seeming to get some of the blame this time, but I’m blaming a lot of it on the editing of the show itself, and way, way, way too much on the “Let’s visit with our contestant’s lives” montages.

The stories the past few days mostly, though, have to do with rumors that Britney is out, mostly because Simon didn’t find her wacky enough to bring in the ratings, that and the fact that behind the scenes she was really quite a pill to work with. I don’t know if I’m buying any of that, but I do have to say that it was the “mostly reserved” Britney that we were treated to, although she does have some of the best facial expressions out there for TV. As a mentor she wasn’t bad, heck, her contestant nearly won, but she lacked some of the confrontational fire I think people were hoping for.

Me, I’ve always been a fan of Paula Abdul, and I know, that reality show ship has sailed for her, but in terms of TV wacky, she was some of the best. I can’t say I’ll miss Britney if she does get the boot, but I will miss her scrunching face as she didn’t think an act was up to par.

And so I plight: Should “The X Factor” bring back Britney Spears?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!


MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:21 Long
A DVD Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten, Paula Abdul, Ron Paul, Snoop Dog
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: 2009
Kiddie Movie: Please send them to bed.
Date Movie: If she liked Borat, she might like Bruno.
Gratuitous Sex: In way, crazy ways. And then some more.
Gratuitous Violence: Some whipping and ultimate fighting that turns into, well, nevermind.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Much better when you can fast-forward through the “movie” parts.
Memorable Scene: The hotel room with Diesel.
Memorable Quote: “It’s like riding a little horse.”
Directed By: Larry Charles

As sometimes I am lazy, after I let you know about the DVD, below is my original review of the movie “Bruno” when it hit theaters. Having seen the DVD, however, I have to say that:

As a movie, with plot, acting, scenery, etc., “Bruno” is still just dumb and probably deserves the Zero Stars my BFF wanted to give it.
On DVD the movie is so much better; I’m even saying 4 stars out of 5, instead of the 3 that I gave the theater version.
So I can hear you saying something like “How can the movie be better on DVD?”, and my simple answer is because you can easily fast-forward through most of the “plot” parts and just laugh at stupid people, and now add the extras on the DVD that give you way more people and things to laugh at. Yes, I still found the hotel room scene with Diesel a riot, but that’s not what we watch someone like “Bruno” for, do we? I don’t think so. I think we watch him for making ordinary people look like buffoons, the movie still has plenty of them to laugh at, but the DVD gives you another hour of buffoonery because, come on, who wouldn’t watch, in utter amazement, as baseball great Pete Rose is being interviewed by Bruno while sitting on a human chair, and when LaToya Jackson says “It’s like riding a little horse,” I almost spit my drink on my TV screen. The extended fashion show footage is great, the extended TV station footage is unbelievable, I am even more disturbed by parents who want their children to be in movies, and for great viewing pleasure, the interview with Hollywood Agent Lloyd Robinson is hilarious. There is also a commentary track where Sacha Baron Cohen and the director, Larry Charles, explain some of the scenes, but I’ll be honest with you, as funny as the movie can be, I didn’t want to spend another hour and a half re-watching it, again, to find out how dumb people really could be.

With that, if you like the jokes of “Bruno” and “Borat,” go ahead and get the DVD. I didn’t see the Blu-ray version so I can’t say that it’s necessary for your viewing pleasure, but being able to jump from joke to joke, in a more rapid-fire format, makes the movie that much better. 4 stars out of 5 for the DVD, 3 stars if you are just watching the “movie” portion.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! And here’s my original review when “Bruno” was in the theater… L8R!!!

As my BFF and I were leaving “Bruno” I overheard a dude who was also leaving say to his friend “I don’t even know what to say about that,” to which his friend said he found the movie hilarious. Then my BFF said to me, “That movie was horrible… Zero stars… but you were laughing so hard I thought you were going to pee your pants.” Yup, I’m a sucker for a “talking” penis joke, and I did laugh a lot, but I also have to agree with my BFF when she said, “Bruno is no Borat.” I guess I’ll start with the loose story…

Bruno is another character created by Sacha Baron Cohen from his “Ali G” days, a gay fashion-meister who desires to be as well known as one of Austria’s other kin (there is a off color joke in there). Sadly for Bruno he is kicked out of the fashion world when an interview goes horribly wrong, and now, jilted by his lover, Diesel, he decides to head to the United States, with his assistant’s assistant, Lutz, to conquer America, only America isn’t ready for his brand of conquering.

Okay, why am I spending a lot of time on the story? It is there, but it’s not really why we want to see “Bruno,” is it? Probably not. I’m thinking most people are heading to see this movie to watch common people, and a celebrity-ish type or two, get tricked into a fake interview/situation by Bruno, the way we loved seeing people skewered by Borat, but for this one, for the most part, it’s too easy to bait people on the homophobia aspect, or even the “outrageousness” of using people as stools and trying to get Paula Abdul to eat sushi off a naked man. I have to say that this time I spent more time saying “Yup, the National Guard dudes knew they were in on some kind of joke,” and “How hard is it, really, to stir up a group of ultimate fighting fans when you start making out with the other dude in the ring?” Sure, seeing the gay-bashing by the fighting fans is sad, but not nearly as much as when Borat stirred up the anti-Semitism at the bar in the previous movie.

And yet I laughed, was disgusted at people (the parents peddling their kids to make them stars should have the local DCFS folks radars going off), and just couldn’t believe Ron Paul’s people didn’t investigate the release they were signing to get let Bruno interview him.

I can hear you asking me, “Alright, dude, just tell me if I should see the damn movie?” Well, I want to give the movie a better rating than 3 stars, but I just can’t, and it’s not because I didn’t laugh a lot because I did, and it’s not because Sacha Baron Cohen doesn’t make great use of people who just don’t have a clue, because he does. I suppose part of the thing is that the movie seems almost too easy, like I said before, but I think it’s also because the “utterly disturbing yet funny as hell” shocking scene in the movie happened too early in the film for me, leaving the rest of the film as just one little skit after another. Hmm, how to put this without giving it away? Okay, remember in “Borat” (I’m assuming you already saw it) when you were just starting to get bored with how foolish Borat was making people seem and then there was the gross-out, nude fighting scene with the obese dude and naked men running through the convention bringing you right back into the laughter? Well, for “Bruno,” that scene happens early in the film, and although there is a bondage scene in the middle of the film, it doesn’t compare, so for most of the movie it’s just another foolish person/situation followed by another foolish person/situation.

I do understand why my BFF didn’t like this movie at all, and she probably knows why I did, but unlike “Borat,” “Bruno” doesn’t seem to have the cross-over appeal to draw in more than people like me who will nearly pee their pants just at the site of a exercise bicycle with a dildo attached to it. As such, I’m sticking with my 3 stars out of 5 (for the movie only).

Movie Mania, Another Easter Over, Buh Bye La Toya, and Hello Paula, maybe.

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

Another Easter has come and gone but not without an abundance of food, and Stu Gotz and I detail some of our food partaking during this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast. (Would you believe that pierogis and sushi might be involved?). Along with gastrointestinal delights, my weekend included a lot of TV viewing, mostly catching up on my staple of “Survivor,” “Celebrity Apprentice,” and playoff games of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks. Stu, meanwhile, was seeing a lot of movies and does his best to let you know if you should see “Hanna,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,” and “Water for Elephants,” the last of which leads to a discussion of movies “based” on books. And in news that makes me happy, I’m almost totaling looking forward to “The X Factor” now that the story over the weekend is that Paula Abdul is close to being announced as a judge! Okay, subsequent stories say “not so fast,” but hey, a man who loves babbling TV can dream, can’t he?

There is no rest for the wicked, and it seems no rest for Stu and I over a weekend, but that’s okay because in the words of Bon Jovi, sort of, we’ll sleep when we’re dead.

Thanks for listening!

That’s it for this podcast! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Thank God for Steven Tyler!

Okay, I have to admit I was very worried about my American Idol.  I mean, with the failed Ellen experiment over, no hope for Paula Abdul returning, and Simon Cowell heading out of town, or at least to another show, all that was left was top dog Randy Jackson from the old guard.  Would Simon’s snide remarks be missed?  How many times would Randy say “Dog?” No Paula Abdul nuttiness, or at least Ellen thinking she could be nutty?  Would I care?

Turns out I did care, as this was probably the first time in a few years I actually enjoyed the auditions, although it did get off to a rocky start.

Yup, there she was, some girl who auditioned a few years ago and somehow the “Does she ever stop smiling?” Jennifer Lopez remembered her.  The girl wasn’t that good, if Simon were there I’m thinking he would have blasted her, or at least given her the big “No,” but oddly enough the three judges let her through, with J-Lo and Randy basing their judginess on her previous audition and the fact she made it to Hollywood.  Steven Tyler thought she was a flower that would blossom, and then, as I began to see it, Steven Tyler is really the reason to watch American Idol right now.

Sure, Jennifer Lopez is working the “sweetness, oh I don’t want to say ‘No’ but I have to” act to the hilt, and many times Randy just seems to be sitting back, analyzing a contestant like they were a business proposal, but there is Steven, goofy face for goofy singer, getting into the groove with the good singers, slinging wacky anecdotes, and so far, at least for one show, just seeming to have a great time, and even when he tells someone to go back home because they aren’t very good, somehow it just sounds nice.

I do admit that part of me misses Simon Cowell because quite frankly, some of these people really need someone just to crush their hopes and dreams so they can get on with their lives rather than getting let go with some glimmer of hope that they could be that girl who makes it through again, but all in all, I’ve got to give a big hug to the new trio, because even when they say “No,” it’s like a big “We’re sorry but you suck,” group hug.

The producers weren’t too annoying with the “background” spots before a singer, they didn’t give some of the overly annoying people too much time, you can already see some standouts where, with a makeover, have a great shot at stardom (but sorry one dude, your nose is huge), and if the auditions continue like this first episode, American Idol will be back on my “Must see” TV viewing list.

And Steven Tyler, thank you – I hope your act doesn’t get old.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!